Most car owners in the Northeast know the importance of getting their vehicles ready for winter, and for good reason. Winter is the harshest time of year for vehicles in the region, punishing them with extreme cold, ice and snow, and road salt. Though because car owners worry so much about winter, they may not be thinking about preparing their cars for fall. Taking the time to get their cars ready for fall not only provides an opportunity for some needed maintenance but it also serves to help car owners get their vehicles ready for winter.
Here are some basic tips to follow once summer ends so you’ll be better prepared when winter inevitably comes:
- Check your hoses and belts: Making sure your car’s belts and hoses are in good condition and show no signs of wear or rot is one of the most important tasks to complete once fall begins.
- Check levels of antifreeze and other essential fluids: You might not be thinking about it while the weather is still relatively warm, but fall is a good time to check your vehicle’s antifreeze levels. That’s especially true because antifreeze can become diluted during summer. The last thing you want is to go into a harsh Northeastern winter with your antifreeze not at its most effective.
- Create a cold-weather emergency kit: Snowstorms can strike without warning. Even if you’re not out in the wilderness, a sudden blizzard can leave you stranded in your car for hours. That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time in autumn to prepare a cold-weather emergency kit to stash in your car. This kit should include some cold-weather gear such as a coat, gloves, wool socks and a blanket. Non-perishable foods, bottled water and a first-aid kit also make good additions to your emergency kit. Also, don’t forget to stow an ice scraper in your car as you prepare it in fall, because there’s nothing worse than realizing you can’t see through your windshield after leaving your car parked outside overnight in the cold.
- Repair Scratches and Cracks: Fall also is a good time to take care of any minor aesthetic issues such as paint scratches and cracks in your windows or windshield. These may be minor annoyances in warmer weather, but extreme cold has a tendency to make these issues worse. That can lead to much more costly repairs later, so take the time in the fall to fix them before winter gets a hold of them.
Following these simple tips can help you prepare your car for fall and put you in a better position once winter arrives. However, if you’re in the market for a car, purchasing one from a used car auction is a great way to find a quality car with significant savings. Take a look at Capital Auto Auction’s inventory, and you just might find a used car that will be more prepared to withstand winter.